UK basketball has a big weekend ahead


The Kentucky men’s basketball team played against Thomas More at Rupp Arena on Friday, October 27, 2017 in Lexington, Ky. Kentucky won 103 to 61. Photo by Arden Barnes | Staff

Pranavdeep Singh

Both UK men’s and women’s basketball teams will be returning to action on Friday, Nov. 10 when they take on Utah Valley and Sacramento State respectively.

The men’s team will take on Utah Valley to begin the season at Rupp Arena. The Wolverines finished last season 17-17, and 6-8 in the Western Athletic Conference coached by Mark Pope.

Podcast: Featuring Mark Pope

Pope is a UK alum who helped the Cats win the 1996 National Championship and averaged 7.9 points, 5.7 rebounds and 1.2 blocks during his time in Lexington. Last season’s leading scorer for the Wolverines, Conner Toolson, is returning this year along with incoming freshman Richard Harward.

The second game the men’s team will play are against the Vermont Catamounts on Nov. 12 at Rupp Arena. The Catamounts finished last season 29-6 and 16-0 in the American East Conference. They won their conference championship by beating Albany, then were in the NCAA Tournament as the 13th seed before losing to Purdue in the first round.

Their two leading scorers, Anthony Lamb, who averaged 12.8 points per game, and Peyton Henson are returning this year along with Skyler Nash, an incoming three-star recruit from Chicago, Illinois.

The women’s team will begin their season taking on the Sacramento State Hornets on Nov. 10 at the Memorial Coliseum. The Hornets finished last season 10-20 and 6-12 in the Big Sky Conference. Their leading scorer from last year Maranne Johnson is returning again this year and looks to top her average of 15 points per game from last year, along with incoming freshman Dana Degraffenreid, a three-star recruit from Bakersfield, California.

The next game the women’s team will play is against the Gardner-Webb Runnin’ Bulldogs on Nov. 12 at Memorial Coliseum. The Bulldogs finished last season 12-19 and 6-12 in the Big South Conference.

Tierra Huntsman is the Bulldogs’ returning scorer as she averaged 15.2 points per game last season, while also leading the team in total steals.

With four home basketball games in a span of three days, UK basketball fans will likely be satisfied during the Nov. 10-12 weekend.